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Forestry Ministry Aims to Plant 34 Million Trees This Year

Source: Vientiane Times

The government plans to plant 34 million trees on 42,000 hectares of land this year as part of efforts to achieve 70 percent forest cover across the country by 2025.

To help achieve this goal, to mark National Arbour Day on June 1, some 3,500,000 saplings will be planted on 3,500 hectares.

In a message to mark National Arbour Day, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Associate Prof. Dr Linkham Duangsavanh, said “Let’s all work together to plant trees that will become forests, improve the environment, and reduce air pollution.”

Dr Linkham said forests play an important role in the nation’s socio-economic development, environmental protection, and people’s overall quality of life.

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In 1980, the Council of Ministers issued a resolution designating June 1 as National Arbour Day to raise awareness among young people and the general public about the need to protect and maintain forested areas and to actively participate in their management.

However, forestry protection still faces many challenges, especially encroachment by local communities onto forested land.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is formulating policies to resolve these issues, including regulating the use of forests by people living within and close to
them, such as stricter forest management and the allocation of land for specific purposes.

The right to use land and forests will be assigned to governing village bodies, while rural communities will be encouraged to be more productive and create a beneficial family economy based on locally available products.

This year, the ministry has called on all entities and individuals to share in preparing saplings for planting, to achieve the goals set for National Arbour Day.
Everyone, especially young people in smaller ethnic groups around the country, will be educated about the importance of planting trees.

Forestry authorities will partner with provincial education and sports departments to encourage schools, colleges, and other institutions to organize tree-planting activities, in places such as public parks and along roadsides.

Such activities are becoming increasingly important in achieving the nation’s forest cover targets as well as mitigating the effects of environmental damage and protecting biodiversity.